Here’s my recap of the Duathlon that was held last Sunday at Clark, Pampanga:
- Fewer participants than the duathlons that were held early this year. In fact, Coach Rick was kind of disappointed with the low turnout (i.e. around 70 participants for the standard distance). I just told him it may be because of the schedule where A LOT of races were scheduled every weekend this past month. Coach Rick then informed me that they already cancelled the duathlon scheduled this December. TRAP will just convene for its year-end evaluation in the hopes of coming out with a better schedule next year. So, the Anvaya Invitational Triathlon on November 22 and 23 will be the last TRAP race for this year. Extribe will still have its Off-Road Tri in December for all you TRI junkies out there 🙂
- Got to the venue with Philip at around 5am. Race briefing at 6:15 am. Actual race started at around 20 minutes before 7am.
- Saw Michael Pua, teammate of Leo Oracion, who travelled all the way from Quezon to join the morning’s race. Yan ang dedication 🙂
- Halimaw-Watch: Members of the National Team were there. Arland Macasieb, Tayags of TRI Clark, Aussie Coach Rob Pickard, George Vilog, etc.
- Fewer stuff in the transition area 🙂
- Run course is the very same course used for the duathlons early this year. Should make for very fast times 🙂 Told my fellow participants to expect as much as we lined up at the start.
First Run 10K (48:55)
- Participants were required to do 4 loops around the parade grounds. The 2.5k loop consisted of a very gradual incline of around 1K and the rest is flat and downhill.
- I posted earlier that I was aiming for a 55min 10K only because I wasn’t sure that we’re gonna run the same course as before based on the map sent by Coach Rick in the egroups.
- The battle plan was easy first 5K then hard last 5K. After the first loop, I glanced at my watch and saw that I was doing an 11:30 – 12:00 split. I just decided right then and there to scrap my battle plan and just maintain a steady pace throughout the race 🙂
- Reason for steady pace: If I push it early on, I don’t know if I’ll make it to the end. If I go any slower, I will be at the tail end of the pack. I kid you not, the course is that fast. Hence, the compromise of a steady pace.
- Was glad to have at least 2 participants pace with me: Josh and Javy.
- Sub-50 time for a 10K. But take it with a grain of salt. Doubts as to whether the course really measured 10K and like I said earlier, long downhills in every loop.
Transition One (1:18)
- I usually take 1 GU gel for a sprint triathlon. For standard distances (duathlon or triathlons), I prepare 2 GU gels.
- I ate my first gel at this point.
- 5 loops. First 4K of each loop alternated between a gradual and steep incline towards the ruins. Last 4K – hold on to the drops and pray for no potholes 🙂
- Participants were required to slow down each time we pass the transition area. Good thing there were no accidents.
- Multiple loops pretty much guarantee that the elites will pass you at a certain point in the race. It was a thrill to see the how the likes of George Vilog attack the climbs. Also saw Rayzon Galdonez, Abe Tayag and Jojo Macalintal zoom past me. Tried also to keep up with Monica Torres as she negotiated her way around the ruins only to be left behind a mere 20 seconds after 🙂
- I felt good during the bike leg, stayed with the big ring throughout the course, but I did notice myself tiring a bit on the last loop.
- Based on my odometer, course measured 38.71 kms. Average Speed: 29.6 km/hr.
- Ate the 2nd gel with 10K to go before the end of the bike leg.
Transition 2 (1:47)
- Finally, got to remove my feet from the cleats even before dismounting 🙂
- Once again, taking my sweet time here only because I knew I will meet my goal of doing a sub 2:50 🙂
Run 2 (27:03)
- It was already around 9am at this point. While the course did offer a lot of shade, there were still certain points that one cannot escape the sun.
- Shoe laces came loose early in the first loop.
- Was glad to see Philip waiting towards the end of the first loop, egging me on to attack the inclines and finish strong. (It turned out that Philip had a flat tire right on his first loop) Don’t worry Philip, Duathlon world better be ready for you next year 🙂
- All this time, I was just telling Philip that I was going to enjoy this. Last race for the year, I knew pre-race goals will be met. I’m already happy, I don’t want to kill myself 🙂
- Truth be told, I just didn’t want to admit that I was really getting tired by the time the 2nd loop began. And again, there was Philip waiting around the bend to shepherd me towards the finish line. I really appreciate this gesture by the Foreign Runner, always telling me to do my best under any circumstance.
- So, I tried to muster whatever little energy I have left to make a sprint for the finish line with a time of 2:37:18.
As Coach Rick confirmed during the awarding ceremonies, duathlons are indeed more difficult than triathlons. Yup, duathlons are a whole different animal altogether. Requires a different strategy/preparation. And I guess that’s what makes this multi-sports thing so much fun. No course/race is ever the same even though one may have raced the same route before 🙂
Congratulations to the overall winner: Neil Catiil. And I should also mention the fact that the top 5 finishers, all did sub-2 hours 🙂 Kudos to TRAP for another well-organized race. It’s been an honor and a privilege to toe the starting line in the TRAP races this year and race alongside multi-sport junkies who’ve become my friends along the way. I send my biggest and loudest cheers to all of you. See you next year.
It’s back to BASE-ics for Happy Hour 🙂